Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday asked the National Knowledge Commission to take its ideas across the country and build consensus, while admitting that higher education needed a comprehensive reform.
Commenting on a set of recommendations presented by NKC chairperson Sam Pitroda, in the Report to the Nation 2006, the PM said the recommendations on vocational education merit 'immediate' attention for expanding the employment potential of the economy. On public libraries, the PM stressed for active translation system to facilitate the spread of knowledge.
PM Singh also had something to add to the commission’s plan for knowledge network connecting all universities and research institutes. “There has to be a translation component to this as well. The idea of creating national portals in all Indian languages is a welcome one,” he said. In the same vein, he also acknowledged that access was at the bottom of the pyramid, which the commission has addressed in six of its ten recommendations.
Inaugurating two web portals --- on water and energy --- supported by the commission, the PM said, a host of developmental activities were being carried out in these sectors and there was a need for sharing of information, and resources on a continue basis. “In order to ensure that the benefits of these portals reach people, we need to ensure that the portals are available in all major languages and that they address the practical needs of our citizens,” he said.
But, the PM said the final challenge was to change ‘mindsets’ and ensure that each citizen of India is an asset. “We need both financial investment and creative thinking in addressing this challenge,” he said, while admitting that the government would have to look for resources to implement the recommendations.
The report released by the PM states that access to knowledge and learning can transform India’s potential for development. The report also highlights key areas ---- education, learning process, vocational education, governance --- where change would significantly improve people’s inclusion and capability in existing and new fields of knowledge use.
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